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6 Reasons to not exercise

Karen Hawthorne is a health and lifestyle writer and producer in Toronto, Canada. Her work has appeared in print and online for publications including Glow, Homemakers, BestHealthMag.ca and the National Post.

How to get over exercise excuses

While we celebrate our personal relationships with friends and "special friends" on Valentine's Day, it's the perfect time to look at other important relationships in our lives. In particular, our relationship with exercise. Physical activity impacts so many aspects of our health and wellbing, one fitness expert says, that we have to learn to love it, honor it and commit to it, in order to reach our goals and live well. Just like we may find ourselves making excuses to forgo fostering important personal relationships, we often find ourselves conjuring up a host of reasons to skip our daily fitness. Here are six excuses to not exercise and how to get over them.

Lazy woman on couch

Even if your New Year's fitness resolutions have already come and gone, it's time to get off the couch – for real – and get active. We can always come up with excuses not to exercise, but we're only sabotaging ourselves and our success, says fitness guru David Patchell-Evans. Patchell-Evans is the CEO of GoodLife Fitness clubs across Canada and chair of The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), a health and fitness association representing 110 million fitness club members in 78 countries. He is also the author of the new book The Real Sexy Smart and Strong, which attributes the power of exercise to improving everything from our sex life to our job performance, as it draws on his own unique story.

Exercise key to overcoming adversity and living well

Patchell-Evans has experienced his own share of adversity: a serious motorcycle accident at age 19, debilitating arthritis at 32, and his daughter Kilee's autism diagnosis. Exercise has been the cornerstone in helping him go forward and get stronger physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And he isn't spending hours every week in the gym. Surprisingly, all it's taken is "just 30 minutes a day, three days a week," he says.

Through his book, he's passionate about bringing exercise into everyone's life, and enthusiastically describes how easy it is to incorporate physical activity into any busy daily routine. Feel like you don't even know where to start? Don't worry, Patchell-Evans also shows you how to get motivated to make that first step and the transformational benefits that come with making exercise part of your life. Further, your commitment to daily fitness can help a great cause: The fitness expert is donating 100 percent of his book's proceeds to autism research to find a cure for this devastating condition that affects an estimated one in every 150 children worldwide.

6 exercise excuses and how to get over them

Clearly, it is easy to hit the snooze button in the morning or crash on the couch at night instead of pushing our lazy butts into gear. The current obesity epidemic in North America demonstrates we're not eating or exercising properly and, worse, we're damaging our wellbeing, becoming a burden on the health care system, and threatening the future health of our children. But the common sense to adopt healthy diet and exercise habits in our hectic lives doesn't always prevail and it's easy to put things off and simply continue with your unfit, health-endangering routine. Patchell-Evans outlines the excuses that cause many of us to procrastinate exercise and how to get over them.

Exercise excuse #1: I don't have the energy

You may think you don't have the energy to get off the couch but guess what? Exercising actually gives you more energy. Your lack of energy and exercise motivation is likely because you aren't active, not the other way around.

Exercise excuse #2: I'll hurt myself

If you've been inactive for a while, start slowly and build up gradually. It's not necessary to jump into things that are beyond your capability. Regular exercise strengthens your muscles and bones, so the more you exercise, the less likely you are to get hurt.

Exercise excuse #3: I don't have the willpower or time

Get over it! All you need is 30 minutes, three times a week. This can get you to 95 percent of your maximum fitness within six months.

Exercise excuse #4: I can't afford expensive exercise equipment

Good news: You don't need any. Many exercises do not require special equipment. Some activities, such as walking or running, don't require anything other than a good pair of shoes and comfortable clothing.

Exercise excuse #5: I don't look good in shorts

Then don't wear them. You can exercise wearing sweatpants and other loose-fitting clothes. And if you exercise at home, who cares what you wear?

Exercise excuse #6: I'll start tomorrow

Ah, yes, but tomorrow never comes, does it? There is only today. So get moving – today.

Now that your excuse-making has been thwarted, toss away your list of reasons to not exercise – and give your relationship with exercise a healthy makeover.

More fitness tips to keep you motivated

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